Professional football in Italy has been around for more than a century. The first league, the Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio (FIGC, or Italian Football Federation), was a regional group that got its start in 1898. As more and more teams joined, there was a split that led to the formation of Confederazione Calcistica Italiana (CCI). Eventually, both groups rejoined and developed Serie A in 1929.
There are currently 20 teams in Serie A that are located throughout Italy. While there are plenty of young players to go around, there are also quite a few players who have reached or are close to 40 years of age. Let’s take a look to see who are – and who have been – the oldest players in Serie A.
Italy’s Oldest Players
We looked through the current rosters of Serie A teams to suss the oldest players in the league. Goalkeeper Marco Storari, age 40, is the oldest current player. He plays for AC Milan after being loaned out from Cagliari early in 2017. This isn’t his first gig with Milan, either – he made 13 appearances for the club before moving to Juventus in 2010, later joining Cagliari in 2015.
The second oldest Serie A player is Albano Bizzarri. Bizzarri is also a veteran goalkeeper. He was signed by Udinese early 2017, but has spent time on several squads, including Real Madrid, Lazio, and Genoa.
The third oldest Serie A player is another keeper, Bogdan Lobonț, who joined Roma in 2009. Lobonț, 39, has spent time playing for a few football clubs, including the Dutch team Ajax. The fourth oldest player is Gianluigi Buffon, a 39-year-old goalkeeper (and captain) for Juventus. Buffon, who retired from international play after Italy failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, joined Juventus in 2001 and has been a mainstay of the squad since.
The fifth oldest player is Ferdinando Coppola, another Serie A goalkeeper for the Verona team. He joined Verona in 2015 as a free agent. While these are the oldest current players, which Serie A players have been the oldest ever to take the field for a Serie A team?
The Oldest to Ever Take the Field
Looking back over Serie A’s long history, we checked out which players were the oldest to ever take the field for one of their teams. Marco Ballotta comes in as the furthest aged. He began playing professionally in the early ’80s, and he was 44 years, 1 month, and 8 days old at the time of the specific 2008 match between his Lazio and Genoa. Lazio won the game 2 to 0.
The second oldest ever to play a Serie A game was Francesco Antonioli. He was 42 years, 7 months, and 22 days old during the match in question between his Cesena squad and Novara Calcio in 2012. Cesena ultimately lost 3 to 0.
The third oldest Serie A player to take the field was Alberto Fontana. He was 41 years, 9 months, and 23 days old when his Palermo squad met Inter Milan in 2008. Palermo was defeated 0 to 2.
Standing the Test of Time
While the oldest of the Serie A players are in their late 30s (and one is 40), many of the oldest players from each team aren’t too far into their 30s. Benevento’s oldest player, for example, is only 31 – Andrea Costa has been playing football for over a decade, but he’s still on the youthful side when considering the league’s “oldest” players. Boukary Dramé is another young oldster – the Atalanta player is only 32 years old.
Others are definitely in their upper 30s, though. In addition to the top five oldest Serie A players, there are plenty that are 35 years of age or older, including Christian Maggio (35, Napoli), Nicolas Burdisso (36, Torino), Andrea Cossu (37, Cagliari), and Stefano Sorrentino (38, Chievo).
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